Top News

Illinoisans are still waiting for independence

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute Jul. 7, 2017, 12:11pm

More than 240 years ago, a group of individuals stood up against a far-off king who taxed them without recourse. Americans honor their efforts each year on Independence Day.

Lawsuit seeks back pay for Illinois lawmakers

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute Jun. 5, 2017, 11:38am

Former state Sen. Michael Noland is suing for back pay after the General Assembly nixed cost-of-living adjustments and forced furlough days.

Illinois House has spent less than six hours in session this month

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute May 22, 2017, 3:00pm

House members have spent as much time playing softball and basketball as they have in session since the beginning of May.

Sugary drink tax would be bitter pill to swallow

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute Mar. 13, 2017, 2:55pm

Illinois holds more than $66 million worth of stocks and bonds in PepsiCo, Coca Cola and Dr. Pepper Snapple alone.

Useless committees provide political pay raises for state lawmakers

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute Feb. 28, 2017, 9:40am

In Illinois, bloat doesn’t discriminate.It’s not just government agencies that stick taxpayers with the bill for inefficient operations. It’s state lawmakers, too. Yes, the same ones who haven’t passed a balanced budget in over a decade.

A solution to the property tax problem

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute Feb. 7, 2017, 10:32am

Illinois has by far the most units of government in the nation, at nearly 7,000.

Why a budget won't fix Illinois

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute Jan. 10, 2017, 7:46am

Pension costs alone now consume a quarter of the Illinois state budget.

Why all Illinoisans need action on workers' comp

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute Dec. 12, 2016, 11:58am

The cost of workers’ compensation for municipalities, counties and state government in Illinois is more than $400 million per year.

Madigan's millions: Why the Speaker should release his tax returns

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute Nov. 18, 2016, 12:37pm

Every dollar Madigan earns back for his corporate clients makes someone else’s property-tax bill go up.

Members of the Illinois House of Representatives who gave Michael Madigan unlimited power

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute Nov. 8, 2016, 8:35am

Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan isn’t a typical state representative.

Illinoisans who vote for Madigan

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute Oct. 11, 2016, 11:24am

Just as Illinoisans elect state representatives, state representatives elect the speaker of the House every two years. To become the speaker, Madigan just needs a majority vote.

Madigan's map

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute Aug. 29, 2016, 11:26am

In a 4-3 ruling, the Illinois Supreme Court erased from November ballots a referendum on legislative mapmaking, and handed a major victory to Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan Aug. 25.

Why Madigan wants the map

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute Aug. 23, 2016, 8:46am

Illinois politicians love to be involved in choosing their voters, especially Madigan.

Number of Chicago city workers making $100K-plus has doubled since 2013

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute Aug. 9, 2016, 8:10am

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is heralding a massive water-sewer-tax hike as a grand bargain between taxpayers and city employees, but new payroll data show it’s not exactly a shared sacrifice.

Illinoisans suffer, politicians get paid

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute Jul. 19, 2016, 9:44am

Members of the Illinois General Assembly should end pensions for politicians once and for all. And a pay cut would send an equally powerful message. Their job performance demands as much.

Illinois’ AFSCME contract needs a reality check

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute Jul. 12, 2016, 10:00am

State lawmakers justify keeping in lockstep with AFSCME by saying they’re fighting for the middle class. But middle-class Illinoisans who don’t work for the government are struggling to stay afloat amid flatlining incomes and a stagnant economy. 

Illinois’ opioid crisis and the dark side of workers’ comp

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute May 20, 2016, 6:50am

Through a process called physician dispensing, Illinois doctors can not only prescribe drugs but also sell them to injured workers. Research shows that when physicians are allowed to do this, they prescribe 3.2 times the quantity of opioid drugs they would prescribe otherwise.

Madigan muzzles Illinoisans on term limits

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute May 9, 2016, 7:14am

Term limits aren’t just a cosmetic change. They aren’t a feel-good Coke commercial. They’re a powerful reform that can make Illinois democracy work again

Chicago alderman saved Trump $11.7 million in property tax appeal scheme

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute May 2, 2016, 2:28pm

A new report revealed that Klafter & Burke, a property-tax law firm owned by Chicago Alderman Ed Burke, helped Donald Trump cut property taxes on his downtown Chicago hotel by nearly 40 percent over seven years, saving Trump and his investors $11.7 million.

The SEIU is hurting Illinois caregivers

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute Apr. 29, 2016, 12:29pm

When the SEIU fails to make caregiver interests a top priority, it’s unsurprising that nearly half of caregivers statewide aren’t union members. Teaming up with lawmakers to require family members to put their loved ones in strangers’ hands to attend an in-person training session is just one example of this.